The Liminal Space

This morning I woke up thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Many of us have a tradition of creating a set of new rules and standards we can commit to for the new year. We create goals we wish to achieve and prioritize  our objectives for the year ahead. Some of us view this as an opportunity to evaluate what has worked in the past and what has not. We promise to hit the gym, eat better or finish a project that we never completed. It’s pretty easy to go overboard and say, “There is going to be a whole new me next year.” But, just before we commit to starting out fresh, we pause to indulge in our old ways by running out into the street, making a lot of noise, staying up late partying and by eating and drinking too much just one last time.
What are we celebrating? Is this the beginning or is this the ending? There have certainly been years that I could not wait until that year would be over and others I wished would never end. Sometimes I have raised a toast on New Year’s Eve in appreciation of  wonderful things from the year gone by and other times when I have shed a tear for loved ones who were no longer by my side to celebrate with.
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to except the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell
On New Year’s Eve we stand in a liminal space, the space of what is no longer and the space of what is not yet. Last year is gone and next year has not started. The liminal space has been described as the threshold between one reality and another. It is a space where there is no going back, although you have not stepped forward yet. It is the pause at the pinnacle of the roller coaster, after the climb and before the joyride. It is an uncomfortable moment filled with both anticipation and anxiety. Here we can look back and examine the past and we can also peek over the edge into the unknown.
Every year I am less inclined to make resolutions because for me it is just too minimizing to hold fast to my own plans. I have learned from experience that it is great to set goals as long as I remember I’m not the one in charge. As the mysteries of my life continue to unfold, I have learned that I am better served when I ask for what I wish for or something better.  Instead of locking in to my own concept of what would be best for me, I do not underestimate all of the potential good that can be provided. It has become completely clear to me that I cannot see the whole picture and I must surrender my small view for the larger perspective that is held by Spirit. Whatever we may call our God, our Source, the Universe or our Creator, perhaps what we wish for is not as great or good as the Divine has in mind for us. We just think too small. We’re only human.
But there is one resolution we can all keep. When the clock strikes midnight wherever you are, we can make a resolution to let go of the year that has passed and celebrate a new one beginning. That’s it. This is our fresh new beginning! So let’s all let go of the safety rail, throw our hands in the air and scream as we drop over the edge into the magical mystery that lies ahead.
Happy New Year my dear friends!

remember, goodness grows,


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